Heinrich von Kleist

The Broken Jug

Directed by Igor Vuk Torbica

Translation: Boško Petrović, Translation of the ending: Maja Matić, Set Designer: Branko Hojnik, Costume Designer: Jelisaveta Tatić Čuturilo, Dramaturg: Tamara Bijelić, Music arrangements and music consultant: Marko Marić, Choreography and movement: Staša Zurovac,

Who smashed Frau Marthe’s jug? Who ruined young Eve’s reputation? Will her beloved Ruprecht have to go to war? Will the village judge Adam be able to find the answers to all these questions – especially on this particular day when he has suffered an injury to his head, the very day the upright court inspector from Utrecht is due to arrive? And where on Earth could he have mislaid his wig?

Kleist’s entertaining and many layered comedy is one of the most important and most popular works of German romanticism. It was directed by Igor Vuk Torbica and with the help of first class actors the director has infused it with a lot of courage and vitality, noble cynicism and modern day sense of humour. 

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Kleist is close to popular theatre. The Broken Jug has the subtitle of «a merry play». If we view Kleist and the time he wrote in, alongside undisputed greats such as Goethe and Schiller, he actually represents a single counterpart and a single lone, individual voice that does not start from romanticist subject matters most of his contemporaries share, but rather takes a sideway, low road, from the people, a much more immediate path, I’d say. His starting point is dissecting the entire society: its lowest classes, as well as people from the very top. Thence there are peasants, and judges and inspectors from the capital etc. And this is what makes Kleist authentic.

(…) He said that the greatest danger from the law and prescribed norms lies exactly where there seems to be none. Exactly where we are so much at ease with them that we take them for granted and say, fine, that’s simply the way it is and is not to be questioned.

(Igor Vuk Torbica, taken from the theatre programme)

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The play itself imposes the idea of illogically bringing together things that can’t be brought together, and thence our striving to preserve this potential and convey it on stage. This is an undefined space, a space where someone can sleep and where some chickens that Adam keeps can walk around, where one can curse, and eat and smoke and climb up on a table, sing, or hold trials. On the other hand, the matter of corruption and abuse of position is probably as old as mankind itself, so we tried not to set the action in an obvious/concrete time frame, even though, in terms of signification, the parallels to the present are clearly visible.

(Tamara Bijelić, taken from the theatre programme)

Premiere: 13/02/2015

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  • Heinrich von Kleist

    The Broken Jug

    Directed by Igor Vuk Torbica

    Who smashed Frau Marthe’s jug? Who ruined young Eve’s reputation? Will her beloved Ruprecht have to go to war? Will the village judge Adam be able to find the answers to all these questions – especially on this particular day when he has suffered an injury to his head, the very day the upright court inspector from Utrecht is due to arrive? And where on Earth could he have mislaid his wig?

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Ljuba Tadić TheatreSeatmap

2 hrs, no interval